It should be noted that this article is for information purposes only and should not, under any circumstances, be accepted as legal advice or health advice.
If you’ve ever done much research on the subject of medical marijuana, there is a fair chance that you found large numbers of articles that flatly contradict each other. That’s probably attributable to the various vested interest and pressure groups that sponsor the articles concerned. It probably also has to be admitted that facts are in short supply whilst opinions are available in excess.
Here though, we will be trying to examine some apparently widely held views relating to medical marijuana, which appear to be, at best, illogical. Do please keep in mind while reading it, that it is personal opinion and not qualified medical, legal or scientific advice.
Medical marijuana use is just a cover for recreational drug activities.
That just cannot be right. There are vast numbers of stories, studies and shared personal experiences, coming from people that have used marijuana for legitimate symptom relief purposes. It is patently absurd to suggest that all these people (including many well-known celebrities) are simply recreational users that are either lying or deluding themselves as to their true motivation. These are ordinary, sincere and professional people leading entirely normal lives – apart from the fact they have been afflicted by an illness of some sort. Unless one believes that the individuals concerned have deliberately sought to make themselves ill simply in order to justify the use of marijuana, this fact should seriously question the above myth.
No doubt there are some individuals who have sought recreational access to marijuana by attempting to justify its use for medical purposes, but commonsense tells us that this cannot be the case for all users.
Marijuana for medical use is now legal in many US states
No, that’s not strictly accurate. Several states now have legislation on the books that permits the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Some may have legislation pending which has not yet been approved, and others may turn a blind eye to its use in certain circumstances. Under Federal Law it remains an illegal substance even if you are using it for medical purposes. Before making assumptions about the position where you live, it would be highly advisable to take legal advice.
Medical marijuana is legally available in many European countries
No, it is not. Some countries of the European Union (notably Holland) have legislation that may permit very small quantities to be used for private or medical use. For the most part, however, it remains illegal, even if many individual countries choose not to enforce their own laws on the subject.
Medical marijuana is harmless
Virtually any substance taken in large quantities may cause severe medical problems. That applies to something even as ordinary as water consumption. If marijuana is abused it may cause numerous undesired side effects. If used for the purposes of analgesia or symptom relief, it is highly advisable to ensure that this is done under medical supervision and assistance, although in some legal jurisdictions, physicians and other health professionals may render themselves liable for prosecution if they do so.
There is strong scientific evidence that marijuana is helpful in certain medical conditions
This is a very tricky one to deal with. At present time the Federal Drug Administration’s position remains that there is no clinical evidence that marijuana is of any benefit whatsoever in terms of various forms of symptom relief or analgesia. This position is also adopted by a number of other national health authorities around the world.
It is true, however, that many individual medical practitioners do believe that marijuana has a place in their portfolio of treatments (if their laws allow them to do so), and they claim to have seen significant results. Other medical experts accept that marijuana may provide some beneficial effects for certain conditions, but believe that its use may be outweighed by undesired side effects. This remains a controversial subject. In the end, it may be a question of the opinion of an individual medical expert.
Perhaps more worryingly, whilst the law appears to be confused, or even punitive, with regard to medical marijuana, it may prove difficult to conduct sufficient large-scale controlled studies so as to reach a conclusion (one way or another) that everyone could accept.
Andrew Bartlett is the Managing Director of The Seed Dispensary which specializes in providing over 1,500 strains of high quality medical marijuana with a quick, confidential delivery service and order-tracking system. Our website offers information on medical marijuana cards, compassion clubs and other related issues.